Monday, June 25, 2007

My Friend, My FedEx Guy

Our homestudy is finally completed - background checks and all - yay! Now we continue to work on the dossier. Here we go again - keeping FedEx in business!! I sent out my first batch of FedEx's with FedEx return envelopes inside. Thank god I can type all my labels online and simply print them out, stick them in the envelopes, and leave them in a FedEx box (or at Walgreens, which I must say has become most convenient!).

Unfortunately our real estate nightmares continue to plague us. I won't bore you with any details.. plus I don't want to think about it. I'm getting pretty good at controlling when and where I can stress out about things.
..or maybe it's some form of multiple personality disorder? LOL..
Anyhow.. I've enlisted the help of my sister (who is, ironically, a 'Sister' .. with the Sisters of St Francis of Perpetual Adoration). Come on girl.. don't let me down.. ;)))

Anyhow. Tomorrow is a nanny-day, which means that I am free to stress out and try to discover solutions. I handle these things much better with a vat of strong coffee in-hand, so I'm almost looking forward to it. almost.
I also have a physical therapy session in the morning.. so that will give me a good excuse to stop and grab a latte on the way home. Btw.. the MRI showed a few neck issues and a bulging disc that is pressing on my sciatic nerve. Happily, physical therapy should take care of the issues. I've had one session and lots of homework. Turns out mom was right (argh.. I hate that! baa!), and my posture IS killing me slowly! ;) I now have to try to remember to sit down, lie down, stand up, walk, pick things up, sit in my computer chair, sit in my car, etc - completely differently. Believe it or not, this isn't easy. {eye roll} I've also been trying to be diligent and do all of my 'homework' exercises.. but when you are to do them every 2 hrs, it is very easy to forget occasionally. I'm hoping that maybe tomorrow involves some massage therapy.. I was most disappointed to show up at the physical therapy clinic and see a bunch of exercise equipment instead of spa rooms!!! Not even any Yanni music or mood lighting. Psh!

So to whine for just another minute.. my mom's shoulder pain turned out to be 2 more cancerous lesions on her upper spine. And my whine is actually for her b/c she is doing a good job of not whining. She started chemo this past week - GO MOM!! Be strong and kick the crap outta that disease!!! Wish I could help with the kickin'.

And when you think that life sux and you start feeling sorry for yourself.. you have to read some of this guy's blog: This man is a friend of my sister. He is the MOST amazing dad ever. Just read some of his blog posts and you can't help but be completely inspired. He is fighting cancer - Hodgkins? I think - while being a dad to 5 young children. He has an amazing outlook on life.

My cousin and her family are out West on vacation. We hung out last night and today - was very fun! Her kids are awesome! Maya loved hugging and kissing all over them (they are boys of course ;)).. and was very sad to see them go. She is still talking about 'Nay-Nay' (Nathan)(aka.. my Godson!). Safe travels and so glad we got to spend time with you! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Photos Of The Day

Just a couple of photos from today!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of you fabulous dad's out there!
Our little birds nest that was built on the transom window above our front door is now home to at least 2 baby birds! Both the 'mom' and 'dad' robins have been busy feeding them today. So, I guess we'll shout out a 'Happy Father's Day' to our little bird friends! :) And again, anytime that good luck {which is supposed to be brought by a bird building a nest on your house) would like to kick in ~ we are ready!!! ..seriously.. still waiting.. ok now.. anytime..

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Anniversary of a Miracle

Today, June 16th, is a very special day for our family. One year ago today, we BECAME a family! It was on June 16th, 2006 that we met our sweet baby girl for the first time. So today we celebrate our first Family Day/Gotcha Day.. whatever you wish to call it. Hooray! We could not be more happy! Attached are some photos of our family on that spectacular day last year! The one to the left is our very first view of Maya in person!

Time to ponder how we got here (I warned you earlier that a long reflective post was coming!!)…

Oddly it feels as if the past year has flown by in a minute.. and at the same time it feels as if we have been a family forever. We missed our child’s birth and first nine months, and I thought that I would anguish over this ‘missing piece’ of her. While I’ll admit that it is sad that we did not have her with us during this time, I still feel as if we have been with her since birth. Maybe it is because she adjusted so well to our family, I don’t know. I just know that I worried for so long that we would have adjustment issues.. that I might not feel bonded to my baby.. that I would continue grieving my inability to conceive a biological child.. All of these fears have gone unfounded.

For years my husband and I tried to conceive a child. We both desperately wished to be parents. Month after month we grieved over our failure to succeed with this. We paid exorbitant medical fees at fertility clinics. I went through medications, injections, uncomfortable (if not occasionally painful) procedures and surgeries. It was eventually determined that I had severe endometriosis which had caused too many permanent medical problems for me to conceive a child on my own. It was donor eggs or nothing.
Devastating news after inves
ting so much – financially and emotionally.

Finally, at the beginning of 2005, we decided that we were going to go all-in and see what God had in store for us. It was important for us to be parents.. it was not as important for us to give birth to a bio child. I was a patient of a doctor with the #1 rated fertility clinic in the country, and we signed up for their donor egg program. It wasn’t an easy decision – I had some ethical-type concerns and wasn’t looking forward to the med process.. but I also wanted to ensure that I would never regret not having tried every option. DH, the amazing husband that he is, had always said he only wanted to go as far, fertility-wise, as I did.. but I wanted to make sure I did everything to help him continue his lineage.
We were told the wait list was 4-6 months.

At the same time, we signed up with our adoption agency and began our ‘paper pregnancy’. We had heard horror stories about both international and domestic adoption.. but we had always talked about adopting a child from India sometime in the future. We just were not sure 'when' in the future this would happen.
We were told to expect a 3 year wait.

We settled in and decided that whatever was supposed to be would be. Our thoughts were that we would get a donor egg, have a baby, then receive a referral not long after – and adopt our second child.

Months went by. As the months passed and we became engrossed in the adoption process, we both began to lean toward adoption rather than the donor egg route. We were still a bit scared of the possibility of an adoption never happening or falling through.. so we did not completely close the door on the donor possibility.

Finally our paperwork was finished and we were on the referral list at our agency. At this point we decided we definitely were not going to do the donor egg route unless something crazy happened with the adoption. We were positive by this time that our child was waiting for us in India. I’m pretty sure that in the last few months of waiting for a referral, we forgot that we were still on the donor egg waiting list!

Finally, in January of 2006, we received the referral of our precious little girl – Ruprekha (Maya)! We saw her photo and read her information.. and we knew that she was ours. Hoorah!!

Now the funny thing is.. we never did receive a match for a donor egg. We were on that list for 9 months. And.. a few months after we were united with our baby Maya, I had some emergency-type health situations arise and was forced to have a hysterectomy. The surgery proved that, not only would it have been impossible for me to have become pregnant on my own, but a donor cycle would likely have put me in a life-threatening situation.

So.. the moral of my story is.. I have no doubts that we were meant to adopt our children. We almost pushed it to far – trying to force a pregnancy that just was not in the cards for us. I thank God every day that things turned out the way that they did – especially that we were able to bring Maya into our family prior to my surgery. This prevented me from doing something that could have been disastrous. Sometimes you have to put your faith in God and just be.
Not always easy to do, that’s for sure.. but it can have wonderful results!

Anyhow.. here we are one year after bringing our family together, and it has been an amazing year! Maya is the light of our lives. Our house is filled with such joy – so many smiles and so much laughter! We still cannot believe how lucky we have been to achieve our dreams of parenthood with such an amazing child. I would hope that if anyone reading this is considering adoption – they understand what an incredibly rewarding process that it is. Not only in becoming parents to our child, but in meeting other great adoptive families, and in having the ability to share our experience and hopefully lead others to journey in the same direction. There are so many children in this world that need families.. and so many families that need children.. please don’t ever hesitate to at least consider this marvelous way to create your Forever Family!

Btw.. a big happy welcome to our new nephew, Arjun, who was born on Thursday!! Welcome to the world you handsome little man!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The harder the fall, the higher the bounce

I promise.. a very happy, fuzzy, reflective blog post is coming. It seems that I normally blog when I am feeling up and excited about something. Yes, it is usually something to do with my adorable and fabulous daughter (me biased? Nooo!) Well blog-world.. today is NOT an 'up' day. And since I am all out of good vino .. and {gasp} .. don't feel like sipping vino anyhow.. {double gasp!} .. I need an outlet. I am promising myself that I will end on a positive note.
WHAT A HORRID DAY WAS TODAY! Seriously.. I need a cocktail, a warm jacuzzi tub with calming aromas, and my latest amusing audiobook on my ipod. I'm into this bridget-jonesy-ish type humor lately. 'Match Me If You Can' is my current read/listen. I just finished a Sophie Kinsella, and I have about 6 more of hers on my Wish List. Laugh-out-loud audio books definitely make my day. But I digress..
Omg - must interject - the most amazing sunset is occurring outside my office window (home office that is)!! The sun is setting behind the mountains, and the entire sky is awash in pinks, purples, blues, greens, oranges.. hold on. I must gawk for a moment, it might lift my spirits.
Ok.. wow. So back to my horrid day. Here's a hi-level synopsis: One of my two jobs that I alluded to in a previous post and did not mention - is property management. Why didn't I mention it? Oh - probably b/c I keep trying to forget that I do it. I hate it. If you have ever managed rental property, you understand. It really does lead you to question whether or not the human race is salvageable. Sound harsh? I thought so before I began that job also. I was all 'oh, the majority of people are good'. HA! Naivety. I think it all changed for me during the 4th or 5th eviction hearing that I stood up in front of a judge and listened to a tenant who had not paid rent in at least 3 months (after I tried repeatedly to help them by setting up payment plans, giving them extensions, dismissing late fees, listening sympathetically to their pathetic life stories, etcetc) tell the judge what a mean, horrible, unfair, racist, unethical, foul-mouthed, lying, {insert additional insults here}, person I am. ME!!?? siiiiiiigh.
My husband and I moved from the Midwest a couple of years ago and left behind several rental properties that I continue to manage. There are 2 larger properties that are impossible to manage from out-of-state, so they are managed by a different local company (let THEM stand before the judge and be verbally battered). Well.. one of these properties had some huge issues associated with it today.. no need for details, but these issues included law enforcement/city government..loss of tenants..and what will end up being extremely high financial repercussions for the owners.. and that would be.. us.
Doesn't sound so bad when condensed does it? Doesn't sound so bad until you think about the trickle-down effect of high financial repercussions. Especially when you are trying to adopt a child in the near future, and that process isn't inexpensive. Our lives are always high-stress, but this is ridiculous. We have this crisis going on.. we are being audited, our jobs are both stressful, my mom is sick, and we are trying to be great parents and shield Maya from all of this stress.
On top of that, my stupid left leg is having some type of crazy pain that has been going on for 6 weeks now. And my neck joined in ~3 wks ago. Driving is a major challenge b/c I have to turn my entire dam body to check the lane to the right. And my left abdomen/side joined in ~2 wks ago. I've had some type of stomach virus(?) two weekends out of the past 3.. and last weekend was so bad that I was beginning to think it was a gall bladder attack or something (vomiting on and off..mostly on.. for 9 hrs). So I'm limping around and feeling totally fatigued.. and totally like some kind of hypochondriac. My entire body is falling apart!! This is seriously resembling how I felt before my insane surgery in December.. so I hope it has nothing to do with the endo rearing it's ugly head again. My doctor is having me get an mri tomorrow, to check out my spine. If it comes back normal, I'm going to have my estrogen checked. I'm on HRT now, and I've heard that if it isn't working correctly, your entire body can crap out on you like this. Sooo.. blah.
Ok. I think that's it. I can't think of any other complaints! :) Feeling better already.. thank god for an outlet. If anyone is still reading.. don't worry, I'm really not losing it. Just needed a moment of release. I'm pretty good at handling stress as long as I can spew forth some bitching from time to time. :) I know that I have an amazingly wonderful life filled with blessings, and that my problems are teensy compared to many other people's probs, but hey - everyone deserves to whine on occasion.
So I promised myself that I would leave this post on an up-note. Let's see..
Oh yes! Lots to look forward to this weekend (as long as DH doesn't have a stroke or coronary from his stress issues). Baptism prep class (finally!!) on Saturday. Father's Day on Sunday - Maya and I have a day of relaxation planned for Daddy! And.. big excitement.. Saturday is our first Family Day/Gotcha Day/whatever you want to call it! We met our beautiful baby girl last year on June 16th in Kolkata, India. I have her Adoption Story video all ready to watch! Makes me teary just anticipating it. :)
So watch out.. big reflective blog post coming your way!
Here's to a happier tomorrow.
"Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce"

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ms. Trump

This tidbit will likely be extremely amusing to those who know my husband personally..
Maya has learned to say her name in just the past couple of weeks. {With the help of Pottery Barn Kids and her personalized chair!} However, in her excitement, she often slips a little and mispronounces it.
"What is your name little girl?"
LOL! Maybe she is destined to be a finance guru like her daddy. {or maybe she knows how much I have invested in her shoe collection.. baaahaa!}

Monday, June 4, 2007

Busy Weekend!

{Wow - a new post, only days after the last one! I must be learning to manage my time.. ;)))}
This past weekend was a busy one. Maya and I started a Moms-n-Tots gymnastics class on Saturday morning. And, might I add, it was somewhat pathetic. .. No .. it was very pathetic.
Seriously, they should have told us that it was cancelled due to low response.
When we showed up, there were 5 pre-schoolers (at least age 4) and Maya and I. Needless to say, the other kids could walk on a balance beam, stand on their heads, etc.. while we were lucky to stay in the designated area without simply wandering off. Pretend to 'make a pizza'???? We don't even know what the heck a pizza was! And name ingredients?? Oh good god. We're lucky to know our name! And this was only the first 5 minutes of the class. Can you say...
W A S T E O F M O N E Y???
Obviously they combined 2 classes due to
the low turnout. OH THX! I'm so glad we paid $45 so that I could spend the entire 45 minutes trying to keep Maya from being mowed down by crazy unsupervised preschoolers who would not wait for her to clear the area before throwing themselves into out-of-control tumbles and landing on my child's head (and, btw, I was not always successful).
That reminds me.. I need to call the Rec Center and complain tomorrow. I'm thinking that getting my money back and canceling this class would be the intelligent decision. Should be interesting to see if they allow this. OH - and the class is taught by kids who can't be
14 years old. Siiiiiiigh.
Well anyhow. My rant for the day I guess.
In other news.. we spent the rest of the weekend doing fun family-type things. Our local adoption agency (Adoption Alliance) had a picnic on Saturday afternoon. Was very nice. The park where
it was held had a small train ride and a petting zoo. These were both met with enthusiastic approval from our toddler. :) This was her first train ride - and since she has been looking at photos and yelling 'CHOO CHOOOOOOO' for weeks - this was good timing! The petting zoo was nice, though she kept trying to smooch the animals. Uh.. YUCK! Plus, one of the goats chewed on the sleeve of my shirt, which I didn't exactly appreciate. And - mental note for next time - do not wear sandals in the petting zoo. ick.
One fun moment was when, much to the amusement of everyone nearby, Maya took off chasing the turkey - which must have outweighed her by at least 3
0 lbs. He was quite cantankerous also. We grabbed her away quickly, as I think he could have given her a swift kick and knocked her into the nearby creek. I could see it in his eyes.. bad things were eminent.
We were very happy to see one family at the picnic that we had met during one of our training classes. They had fostered and then adopted a little baby girl. When we met them, she had just joined their family as a foster child. She had quite a few major medical issues and was not expected to live more than a couple of months. Needless to say, she has proven those doctors wrong! She looked amazing! She is now 2 1/2 yrs old and doing very well. She told me how old she was, and she was having a great time riding one of the playground springy-animals. Awesome!

On Sunday, we went for a hike at Castlewood Canyon. We tried out the baby-backpack that we had purchased ~ a year prior to bringing Maya home. She fit very well in it still (phew!), and she had sooooo much fun!! She was bouncing and laughing - yelling 'Hi!' and 'Hola!' to everyone we passed. So much for the tranquil setting.. haha! ;)
In other news.. my mom was recently diagnosed with metasticized breast cancer. :( It came back in her arm bone. She survived her first bout with BC 3 years ago, and we haven't been happy to see it return. She is going thru treatment and having some major bone pain. We are all praying that she is pain-free again soon and beats this beastly disease. If anyone out there would like to incorporate her in your prayers.. it would be appreciated.
And, ending this post on an up-note.. after many hours working on our yard - I have finally taken the upper hand against the onslaught of weeds that took over while we were in mexico! I know, that sounds silly.. but omg.. if you had seen the weeds.. I had no idea that anything could grow that
Our pond is also brimming with life these days. I've seen at least one toad.. we've had a blue heron visit a couple of times.. many, many other birds.. and - yay! My fish made it through the winter. I lost a couple, but I can see several survivors. Hopefully the snakes don't get them. I haven't seen our friend 'Bob'.. but I did see a snakeskin the other day that was well over 2' long and scared the #$% outta me.
We also have a momma-bird who built her nest in the transom window above our front door. A delivery guy told us the other day that the Chinese see this as a sign of good luck. Well.. we sure could use some - so welcome to you Momma-Bird!!

Happy Monday!